Blue Jackets 4, Coyotes 3
Friday, 01.13.2012 / 7:42 PM
By Associated Press
COLUMBUS -- Derick Brassard had a goal and an assist to lead the Columbus Blue Jackets to a 4-3 victory over the Coyotes on Friday night at Nationwide Arena as Phoenix ended a three-game trip with a 0-1-2 record.
Rick Nash also scored, and Tomas Kubalik and Ryan Russell each notched their first NHL goals for the Blue Jackets, who won under Interim Head Coach Todd Richards for the first time.
notched a goal and two assists, Radim Vrbata
chipped in a goal and a helper, and Oliver Ekman-Larsson
notched two assists for the the Coyotes (20-18-7), who have lost four road games in a row.
also scored for Phoenix, which will play eight of its next 10 games at Jobing.com Arena starting with an MLK Day matinee
vs. Colorado on Monday at 2 p.m.
Columbus, which led 2-1 after one period, took a two-goal lead by scoring in the first (see KEY MOMENT
below) and last two minutes of the second period.
Trailing 3-1, Phoenix cut the lead to a goal when Ekman-Larsson left a drop pass for Vrbata, whose centering pass into a crowd went off the left skate of Korpikoski as he rushed the net.
Blue Jackets goalie Curtis Sanford smothered a redirect by Shane Doan
on a Coyotes power play shortly before Brassard pushed the lead to 4-2.
Brassard took the puck and skated in a circle from the short boards near the Blue Jackets bench to the high slot before wristing a hard, high shot past Coyotes goalie Jason LaBarbera
for his sixth of the year.
The Coyotes pulled to 4-3 in the third period when Korpikoski's long stretch pass found Vrbata behind the Columbus defense. Vrbata Skated in all alone on Sanford and scored on a backhander.
|Photo by Getty Images
Phoenix's Ray Whitney
, a former member of the Blue Jackets, had two scoring chances in the final seconds. First, he took a shot from in close that was deflected by Sanford. He then tried to bank the puck in from behind the net but it went just wide.
An crowd of 14,119 was quieted just 1:49 after the start when Aucoin, who had just crossed the blue line, stepped into a pass from Daymond Langkow
on a one-timer and scored his second goal of the year.
But the Blue Jackets (12-26-5) showed some life.
They tied it when Kubalik crashed the net and was rewarded when Aaron Johnson hit him with a backhanded centering pass that he was able to redirect.
Ninety-five seconds later, Nash circled with the puck before his hard wrist shot from near the top of the right circle eluded LaBarbera, who didn't see the puck while Columbus forward Vinny Prospal tangled with a defenseman who was backed up tight to the goalie.
► EDITOR'S NOTE: Dave Vest of phoenixcoyotes.com edited this story and compiled this recap.
Leading 2-1, the Blue Jackets gained a comfortable two-goal edge when forward Ryan Russell notched his first NHL goal on a wrap-around at 1:52 of the second period.
► Click here
to watch the KEY MOMENT
• Before the game, the Coyotes assigned defenseman David Rundblad to the American Hockey League. Click here
to read more.
• Defenseman Adrian Aucoin
, who scored his second goal of the season at 1:49 of the first period, suffered a lower-body injury later in the game and did not return.
• The Coyotes dropped to 17-2-4 in games in which they've scored the first goal.
• Forward Radim Vrbata
, who has scored one goal in each of the past three games, is now tied with Chicago's Jonathan Toews for the Western Conference lead in goals scored. Both have 22.
• Forward Lauri Korpikoski
matched a career-high by notching three points - one goal, two assists.
• Defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson
played 26:57, delivered a team-high five hits and was plus-3.
• Defenseman Rostislav Klesla
, the first-ever draft pick in the history of the Columbus Blue Jackets, played 20:55 and delivered three hits in his first game vs. his former team.
• The Coyotes played minus centers Martin Hanzal
(upper-body injury) and defenseman David Schlemko
(lower-body injury). Both players are on the injured reserve list.
• The Coyotes scratched Paul Bissonnette
and Cal O'Reilly
• The Coyotes' next game is Monday vs. the Colorado Avalanche at Jobing.com Arena. The puck drops at 2 p.m. (Arizona time). The game can be heard on XTRA Sports 910 (AM).
||"It's no excuse playing back-to-back (games), but I think it kind of cost us. We weren't as sharp as maybe we should have been on those (first two) goals."
||"We got off to a good start, and then we made a couple of poor reads to give up the lead early and chased the game the rest of the way."
||"We just tried to be more patient with the puck and make smarter plays, and we did a good job tonight."